Gar­den gluts

Country Smallholding - - Ask The Experts -

QI’ve brought quite a large de­hy­dra­tor and love de­hy­drat­ing dif­fer­ent fruits and veg­eta­bles from gar­den gluts to use later in the year, but I was won­der­ing how else I could use it when I have a sur­plus of veg­eta­bles? I love my de­hy­dra­tor as well and it gets some se­ri­ous use at cer­tain times of the year! One thing I’ve just started ex­per­i­ment­ing with is mak­ing my own dehydrated soup mix, it works un­be­liev­ably well.

AKevin Alviti says: I tend to make it when I’m mak­ing win­ter squash soup. I al­ways make a huge batch of soup, around 6 litres or more. My soups have no set recipe just us­ing what­ever I have to hand, the last one con­tained around 4kg of squash, three onions, some white beet­roots and two ridicu­lously large carrots. I just cover with wa­ter and sim­mer un­til they’re cooked, then sea­son to taste.

Be­fore I get the de­hy­dra­tor out I blitz it to a thick and smooth con­sis­tency, the thicker it is the less dry­ing time will be needed. I then la­dle it out onto sil­i­cone type sheets on top of the trays. I tend to la­dle out enough for a bowl­ful on each sheet as this makes por­tion­ing up later much eas­ier. I then dry it un­til it’s crisp (12 hours or so at 56˚ for the last batch), break it into flakes and store in vac­uum sealed bags.

It should store for a long time and when I want to use it I just add boil­ing wa­ter and stir un­til dis­solved. My wife keeps some in her drawer at work in case she for­gets her lunch!

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